10 Best Cell Phone Companies Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

If you’re considering a new plan, you might want a new phone as well. Have your eye on that top-of-the-line Apple or Samsung model? In the past, getting a new phone meant locking yourself into a two-year contract that had multiple financial disadvantages for consumers. But those offers are now long gone. Now you can lease a new phone like a car, pay it off in interest-free installments, or buy it outright and enjoy a lower monthly bill.

And here’s another change: Remember unlimited data plans? They disappeared for a couple of years but then started being offered again by the major carriers. You may not need that much data—and many people sign up for more expensive plans than they need. But if you stream a lot of music or movies over your cellular network, an unlimited plan may be a smart move.

Top 10 Cell Phone Companies

Bestseller No. 1
Bamboo Trading Company Cell Phone or Club Bag, Capiz Flowers
  • Hand Beaded in India cell phone or club bag
  • Approximately 4.5" wide and 7.5" tall
Bestseller No. 2
Beam Electronics Universal Smartphone Car Air Vent Mount Holder Cradle for iPhone XS XS Max X 8 8...
12286 Reviews
Beam Electronics Universal Smartphone Car Air Vent Mount Holder Cradle for iPhone XS XS Max X 8 8...
  • Quick Release Button: Press button on back of unit to slide open and then take out mobile phone. Press the...
  • 360 Degree Rotation: The fully 360-degree rotation provide you with the best viewing angle.The holder ensures...
Bestseller No. 3
Echo (2nd Generation) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Charcoal Fabric
42829 Reviews
Echo (2nd Generation) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Charcoal Fabric
  • Echo connects to Alexa to play music, read the news, set alarms and timers, answer questions, control...
  • Just ask for a song, artist, or genre from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, and more....
Bestseller No. 4
SureCall Fusion4Home Yagi/Panel, Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit for All Carriers 3G/4G LTE up to...
585 Reviews
SureCall Fusion4Home Yagi/Panel, Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit for All Carriers 3G/4G LTE up to...
  • Boosts voice, text and 4G LTE signals for all North American cell carriers
  • Reduces Dropped & Missed Calls and Improves 4G LTE Data Speeds
Bestseller No. 5
ThinOptics Reading Glasses + Black Universal Pod Case | Classic Collection, Purple Frames, 2.50...
7604 Reviews
ThinOptics Reading Glasses + Black Universal Pod Case | Classic Collection, Purple Frames, 2.50...
  • Purchase ThinOptics' products from an authorized retailer (Amazon.com or ThinOptics Direct) to ensure you...
  • Product includes the ThinOptics Reading Glasses & the Universal Pod case featuring non-residue adhesive to...
Bestseller No. 6
TRIBE Water Resistant Cell Phone Armband Case for iPhone X, Xs, 8, 7, 6, 6S Samsung Galaxy S9, S8,...
17237 Reviews
TRIBE Water Resistant Cell Phone Armband Case for iPhone X, Xs, 8, 7, 6, 6S Samsung Galaxy S9, S8,...
  • PHONE MODELS - The ideal phone holder for iPhone 8, 7, 6, 6s and other phone models similar in size and...
  • FULL TOUCHSCREEN FUNCTIONALITY - Our encased running armband acts as a workout phone holder while offering...
Bestseller No. 7
AT&T TL86109 DECT 6.0 2-Line Expandable Corded/Cordless Phone with Bluetooth Connect to Cell,...
611 Reviews
Bestseller No. 9
Red Kap Men's Cell Phone Pocket Pant, Black 36W x 32L
116 Reviews
Red Kap Men's Cell Phone Pocket Pant, Black 36W x 32L
  • CLASSIC COMFORT: This work pant is made of a cotton/poly blend that deters dust & debris while offering all...
  • TRIED & TRUE DURABILITY: Touchtex Technology means breathability, moisture wicking, strong color retention,...
Bestseller No. 10
Apple iPhone 6 Plus, GSM Unlocked, 16GB - Gold (Renewed)
1076 Reviews
Apple iPhone 6 Plus, GSM Unlocked, 16GB - Gold (Renewed)
  • Renewed products look and work like new. These pre-owned products have been inspected and tested by...
  • GSM Unlocked Phones are ONLY compatible with GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile as well as other GSM networks...

Provider: The First Choice You’ll Make

Go Big or Go Small
Generally speaking, prepaid service from the smaller carriers such as Consumer Cellular, Republic Wireless, and Ting benefits people with modest data needs (web browsing, email, Facebook) and little lust for the hot phone of the moment. Heavy data users, especially those who want three or more phone lines, will most likely be happier with one of the Big Four carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless).

Confirm the Coverage
Large carriers such as AT&T and Verizon have a distinct advantage. They have the country well-covered with high-speed 4G internet service. Use the providers’ ZIP code maps and other resources to confirm basic coverage. But these references don’t take into account small dead zones in your neighborhood or home. (You might want to ask friends in the area how well their phones work in those spots.)

You should also make sure you can cancel service and return the phone if a coverage problem crops up. For some carriers, including Sprint and Verizon, the grace period is a brief 14 days. They’ll charge you a $35 restocking fee as well.

Count Your Phone Lines
That’s easy: you plus spouse plus dependents.

Do the Math
For smartphone users, the biggest charge is usually related to data use. See the chart below to estimate how much data you’ll need on a monthly basis.

The Lowdown on Data

How much data you’ll burn through each month depends on your WiFi access (and how often you’re away from it), how much you regularly stream or download, and whether you’re a gamer.

Light Data Use (1GB per Phone)
You spend more time calling and texting than checking e-mail and using apps such as Facebook and Twitter. When streaming content such as movies or YouTube videos, you do it almost exclusively on WiFi.

Medium Data Use (2GB per Phone)
You are less reliant on WiFi and engage in a little bit of everything—streaming some movies and TV shows. Additionally, one of you does limited live gaming.

Heavy Data Use (4GB or More per Phone)
You are also less reliant on WiFi, and additionally, everyone in your household loves to download movies and TV shows, plus watch YouTube videos—and two of your kids are heavy live gamers.

Do You Need a New Phone?

Take a clear-eyed look at whether your phone is past its prime. Here are three cases when it might be wise to replace it:

Your Current Phone Is Giving You Trouble
You can replace a cracked display or an anemic battery (by yourself on many Android phones), but when system improvements from Apple or Google reduce the performance of your phone, it’s probably time to replace it. Ditto sluggish response times, frequent crashes, and a battery that gives out before the end of the day.

You’re Moving to Another Provider
In the past, switching carriers meant you were definitely getting a new phone. Providers locked the phones they sold into their services. Once you met the terms of your agreement, you might persuade the company to set yours free, but chances are the device lacked the technology to function properly on a rival network. That’s no longer true for all phones: Apple, for instance, sells unlocked phones with the technology to operate in multiple networks.

You Can’t Resist a New Gadget
These days, annual improvements in handset technology are less significant than they were a few years ago, so there’s less incentive to upgrade. For instance, the iPhone 6s is still recommended by Consumer Reports, even though it was introduced back in 2015 (and if you want a conventional headphone jack, you might be happier sticking with the older model). Ditto for the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here